There are approximately 23 billion chickens on earth, more than any other bird. Of course, most chickens are raised for meat and eggs since people worldwide depend on them as a food source.
Nevertheless, these animals aren’t just a food source! Backyard chickens also make great companions for gardeners, keeping pests at bay and providing fresh compost for crops. Not to mention the fresh eggs you’ll get all year long!
Would you like to raise chickens in your yard? If so, keep reading this post as we share all you need to know to get started!
Decide on a Variety of Chickens
Once you’ve made up your mind to buy chickens, you’ll need to decide on a variety. No chicken produces eggs every day, but these breeds yield the most:
- White Leghorn
- Rhode Island Red
- Plymouth Rock
Remember that chicken breeds also vary in appearance and temperament, so you’ll want to do plenty of research before buying baby chickens. If you can’t decide, don’t worry! You can always mix different breeds in the same coop.
Purchase a Chicken Coop and Supplies
After deciding how many chickens you would like to have in your backyard, you should purchase supplies, including your chicken coop.
Chicken coops give your hens the privacy and darkness they need for laying eggs and shelter from the cold and predators. So, here are some of the features your coop should have:
- Nesting boxes with soft bedding (such as hay)
- Wooden roosting bars for sleeping
- Dropping boards
- Hanging feeders and waterers
- Enclosed chicken run
Of course, you’ll also need chicken food to keep your hens healthy and ensure they produce eggs with thick shells. If you’d like to learn about chicken feed, click for more.
Establish a Chicken Care Routine
Once your chickens are at home, you should establish a routine for feeding, cleaning, and care.
In the morning, you’ll need to let them out of the coop so they can access the enclosed run. Then, spend a few minutes to check up on each chicken and interact with them before giving them fresh food and water. Lastly, you should fluff up their bedding and check for any eggs.
At sundown, chickens should go back into their coop to protect them from nightly predators. Check for any holes or openings in their enclosure each day to ensure they’re safe!
Your schedule should also include a weekly cleaning, in which you change their bedding, remove droppings, and wash out feeders and waterers.
Start Raising Backyard Chickens Today!
Raising backyard chickens is a lot of work, especially when learning how to care for them. However, it will likely be a rewarding experience for your homestead if you have the time and space. So, bookmark this post and get started today!
Would you like to learn more about gardening and homesteading? If so, be sure to check out more related posts on our website!